Monday, November 17, 2014

"Vast differences among schools"

From the PG:


Questioner said...

Brashear is a teacher's academy- how is it doing in terms of turnover, the % of distinguished teachers, and achievement?

Questioner said...

Someone was afraid they posted something by accident. Don't worry, it did not come through.

Anonymous said...

BRASHEAR Indicators of Academic Achievement

Mathematics/Algebra I - Percent Proficient/ Advanced on PSSA/Keystone= 50.00 %

Reading/Literature - Percent Proficien/Advanced on PSSA/Keystone = 60.36%

Science/Biology - Percent Proficient or Advanced on PSSA/Keystone = 11.64%


Industry Standards-Based Competency Assessments -% Competent/Advanced= 92.31 %

SAT/ACT College Ready 29.97

Randall Taylor said...

Sad, Stunning, Immoral, Incredible I could go on. Take a look at at 26% proficient in reading for Third Graders, again THIRD GRADERS, AT Faison. Yet, There is no outcry. No reporting from any media, nothing from yinzercation, no mention at the Mayor's Commission.

I have become more convinced than ever that as long as a community keeps silent, like Homewood and the Hill, than everyone is OK.

The problem is one day they will no longer be silent. My hope at the very least is people will organize and take what has happened in Pittsburgh over the last ten years to Black students to the new Governor. Also where is the ACLU they could threaten to sue over Single Gender and suburban school Baccaulaureate programs, but not a clear human and civil rights violations right here and good ol Pittsburgh.

Shameful what is being stolen from these children and families everyday.

Questioner said...

Thanks for the achievement information! Since the PG was reporting on the A+ release, it would also be good to know what A+ reported about student turnover and stability (not covered by PDE).

Questioner said...

You are right Randall. Even very basic differences like a lack of books and calculators... what about the Advocates?

Questioner said...

CBS coverage, with link to the A+ report:

Questioner said...

But the link to the A+ report leads to a message indicating that it is not available, check back in a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

From the CBS report with comments for posters' consideration:
Other district-wide highlights:
"41 percent of students enrolled in one or more AP courses, which is 26 percent more than in 2012.
96 percent of teachers performed at the proficient or distinguished level."
Comment: Schools get extra points on their SPP if the merely offer AP courses. Therefore, they sign student up for AP course. HOWEVER, if you check some schools in PPS, you will find that as many as 60 students were enrolled in AP courses, but NONE (that were enrolled QUALIFIED for credit in the AP course. ZERO!


“It doesn’t matter how good the teachers are. If the kids aren’t there, it’s all for naught. So, the chronic absenteeism for me is still one of the major efforts we’re going to have to make,” Dr. Lane said."

Students AVOID FAILURE, CHAOS, FIGHTING, MISMANAGEMENT, a lack of stability, fear, and other staff problems, irrelevant/weak curricula, etc.
What would motivate a student to attend or be engaged?

Questioner said...

Re: “It doesn’t matter how good the teachers are. If the kids aren’t there, it’s all for naught. So, the chronic absenteeism for me is still one of the major efforts we’re going to have to make,” Dr. Lane said."

- Very true, but isn't this sentiment at odds with evaluating teachers based on student scores regardless of absenteeism?

And re: the major effort on absenteeism- remember the "Be there" campaign a couple of years ago- that major effort didn't work.

Things that DO work are offering students a wide range of sports and activities. Part of recent reforms was to downplay sports, but even students who don't participate in a sport were able to feel pride in their school's strong performance in one sport or another.

And once again, later start times for high school students- especially as temperatures drop and transportation becomes difficult- have a positive effect on attendance.

Anonymous said...

5:52 - Yes, students attend school when it is a positive and productive place to be, when they are learning how to think, be creative, produce good results, and feel the caring commitment of others in the building, particularly their teachers, teachers whom they have come to know, respect, and appreciate!

When these conditions are absent, students find ways to resist a school or system that is not fulfilling basic needs (academic, social, emotional) to say nothing about envisioning a successful, productive future!

Questioner said...

It would be interesting to compare the absenteeism rate and the graduation rate for a given school... if the graduation rate is much higher than the rate of students with fewer than 18 absences, that should raise questions. Do students find that they will graduate whether they attend regularly or not?

Anonymous said...

So many things to consider here. Being in school EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. is the most important thing a student can do.
The environment has to be safe and comfortable. Kids can't learn if it is too cold/hot.
The food has to be good and good for them. We know many kids are not getting the proper nutrition from home.
Starting times. Don't bother me with that one. We all had to get up early to go to school.
Sports, arts, shops, CTE. All must be present in all schools.
Lessons must be relevant to the learner. Too many lessons while sounding good in script, just have no value to today's student. Make it meaningful please.

Test scores only manage to bring education down as teachers main concern is the test. Get rid of the tests.

Variables such as economical background, parental guidance, neighborhood dynamics all sound important. Trouble is, teachers have no power of a child's home life.

Shame on them, shame on them all.

Questioner said...

Regardless of what happened when we adults went to (very often a nearby neighborhood) school, if later start times have a significant effect on attendance then later times should be considered.

Anonymous said...

Later start times for High school students sounds good. How do we get the elementary, middle and high students all to school at a later time? So many more busses would have to be added. PAT would not do it for the kind of money they get now. Yellow busses have been tried. They always had to make several runs from high school, to middle then elementary.

As a student at Perry high (when it was a good school) Students on first shift had to be there by 7:00. The cafeteria ladies were already baking the rolls for lunch. Up to the very early 70's, they also had 8th graders in the school as part of the scholars program. The majority of us walked to school.
We also had only the CAT test to deal with and got a good education.

Questioner said...

Article was renamed and rewritten, including to refer to "wide" differences rather than "vast" differences.

An "executive summary" of the A+ report is included in today's PG. It indicates that 43% of high school students are chronically absent- yet 77% graduate? How can that be?

Also a big drop in students with a GPA of 2.5 or more even as graduation rates jump; shouldn't GPA and graduation rates be generally moving in the same direction? Unless PPS is simply graduating students with low attendance rates and low GPA's who would not have graduated in the past.

Anonymous said...

Maybe its just me, but the phrase "CATERING TO low income families" seems terribly elitist. As a teacher working hard to bring out the best in all students from all families, I am not catering to anyone!

The report showed the district, though significantly smaller than in years past, is more ethnically diverse and catering to many more low-income families.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lane spoke about the rise in graduation rates on the A+ Schools Telephone Town Hall tonight. Dr. Lane said the increase was due to identifying students who were not on track earlier than they used to as well as more opportunities to take needed classes--10th period and online classes. That seems shady to me.

Questioner said...

It is especially surprising to see what people will say in the online comments.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was surprised to see pro teacher, pro union comments in the trib article. That is not usually the case.

Anonymous said...

The thread should read Vast differences in students.